Incentive to hire over 50s faces tough fight, says expert

A QUEENSLAND employment law expert claims the Federal Government's $10,000 employer incentive to hire over 50s workers may need a concerted push to overcome workplace age discrimination.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the scheme when handing down his first budget last week.

McKays Solicitors' Ian Heathwood said the move to pay $10,000 to employers who hire workers aged over 50 was a welcome measure, but he thought it faced challenges to be accepted and implemented.

"Generally I agree with the view that there is a need for cultural change and incentivising employers to engage older workers as one way to help encourage change," he said.

"For any scheme like this to work it has to offer an incentive to the employer and the employee.

"I am not sure that this idea does that."

Mr Heathwood said he expects other issues to arise from the decision to increase the retirement age to 70 which was also announced in the federal budget.

"Employers will strive to achieve a balance in their workforce as an aged workforce will bring with it various age-related issues, especially in physically demanding jobs," he said.

"Inevitably there will be a few unscrupulous bosses who will try to sack older workers and look for a way to bypass the issue of age discrimination but the majority of employers will do the decent thing by their staff."


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